As many of you may or may not know, there have been plans for California to secede from the union for several years. After the events of November 8th, the movement gained increasing support from Californians and residents of surrounding west coast states such as Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and even Hawaii.
The campaign to put CalExit on the ballot in 2019 has been gaining momentum and there have been several petitions going around in hopes of keeping the momentum going for the next few years. Although it may sound far fetched, we must consider that it is possible. YesCalifornia, who has been leading the CalExit campaign, has stated “As the sixth largest economy in the world, California is more economically powerful than France and has a population larger than Poland. Point by point, California compares and competes with countries, not just the 49 other states.”
The values that the United States is going to uphold with the recent election are not the values of California. As a state with predominantly liberal sentiment and a population consisting of 61.5% people of color, we do not accept the bigotry that the President-Elect represents with his “American values.” This anger can be seen all across the state with large protests and riots in every major city such as San Francisco and Oakland. Even most universities have joined in to have their voices heard as well. California has the power to protect our culturally diverse and progressive environment by becoming its own nation.
In the recent election, many people were concerned with homeland security and the risk of terrorism. The United States spent about $598.5 billion in 2015 on military, which California was forced to subsidize with our tax dollars. Our people are being shipped off to fight in wars that more than not only further the risk of terrorism. The only reason that California is at risk of any attack is because we are part of the US and by leaving the union, we would ensure our own safety.
California votes for democratic party year after year, but our electoral votes have not affected the election since 1876, so why should we keep playing by the rules of system that clearly does not have our best interest in mind? The electoral college was built to give more value to the votes of smaller states, meaning that one vote does not equal one vote. Wyoming has a population of 563,767 and 3 electoral votes, meaning that each elector represents about 187,923 residents. California has a population of about 37,254,503 and 55 electoral votes, meaning that each elector represents 677,355 residents. This is a huge injustice; this means that the vote of a person in Wyoming is worth 3.6 times more than the vote of a Californian. California deserves to have an equal voting power, we deserve to have our needs addressed just as much as states like Wyoming instead of being mistreated by an outdated system.
California is the most diverse state in the country, we are proud of diversity and it is a crucial part of our culture and economy. For the most part, our immigration laws have been dictated by the federal government. These immigration laws do not take into account the needs of California and are increasingly hurting Californian families. As an independent country, California would be able to set immigration reforms that are consistent with our values and cater to the needs of our residents.
California is a leader in environmental research and preservation. For the past few years we have been working hard to create a green and safe environment for future generations of Californians such as proposition 67 which was just enacted. This proposition will ban the distribution of single use plastic and paper bags across the state. However, it will become increasingly difficult to protect our state with a commander-in-chief that denies climate change. The US accounts for less than 5% of the world’s population yet consumes 1/3 of the world’s paper, 1/4 of the world’s oil, 27% of the aluminum, 23%, and 19 % of the copper. This exploitation of resources is not representative of our state. As an independent nation, California will be able to make its own policies in order to reduce human impact on climate change and build our sustainability. Being part of the most sustainable UC in the system, we know the importance of sustainability for our health and that of the planet.
When asked about her thoughts on CalExit UC Merced student, Lucy Rosas, stated “ As a state we did our duty and the rest of the country failed us… we are very progressive and independent so we should not have to follow the lead of non-progressive states”
California is a nation, not a state. We must hold tight to our values and fight for our independence. As outrageous as it may sound, please keep in mind the benefits and vote in favor of our best interest in 2019.